Black Friday 2011: Target's Employee Petition to Push Back Opening Hours Goes Viral

Many retail giants across the nation are pulling the Black Friday shopping day event into Thanksgiving night, and now an online petition to stop Target from doing the same is going viral.

Anthony Hardwick, an employee at Target, shared with the New York Times last week that he feels stores are forcing their workers to cut short their Thanksgiving celebration by going to work the night before Black Friday, which was “too much.” Target employees would have to be at the store by 11 p.m. on Thursday night and be ready for the store opening on midnight.

Now, Hardwick has started an online campaign on that will send a petition to Target asking the store to push back its Black Friday opening hours to 5 a.m., and allow employees time to spend the holiday with their families.

According to an email sent to The Christian Post from the organization, the petition has quickly gone viral, with tens of thousands of signatures from all 50 states collected daily.

Currently, the appeal has close to 90,000 signatures, and the numbers are growing by the minute.

The letter attached to the petition reads: “A midnight opening robs the hourly and in-store salary workers of time off with their families on Thanksgiving Day. By opening the doors at midnight, Target is requiring team members to be in the store by 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. A full holiday with family is not just for the elite of this nation, all Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones and get a good nights rest on Thanksgiving!”

Petition updates on the website are also keeping track of what other retail stores are doing. Responding to the announcement that Toys R Us will be opening as early as 9 p.m. on Thursday night, Jess Kutch, the director of organizing, criticized the decision for pressuring other chains to open even earlier.

The email said that 27 other campaigns have also launched to petition against retail giants, like Best Buy, opening extra early and forcing both employees and customers to be working and shopping on Thanksgiving night.

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